Raiders of the Lost Hoagie (Ark of Philadelphia)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Raiders of the Lost Hoagie (Ark of Philadelphia)

Post by Albatross »

Throw me the grinder. No time to argue.
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Ark Reviews

Post by MC Eric B »

My Ark Reviews:

A Pathetic Wannabee - The vocals sound too muffled. The song is catchy though and I like the electric guitar. The song/vocals reminds of Dire Straits, which is good.

Binary Red - I don't think that instrumentals should be allowed in Songfight. I think this music could have been made into a good song though.

Caravan Ray - I love the lyrics. Vocals seem a little soft at the start of the song. The music goes great with the lyrics.

Eddie Lance - It is a very pretty song and well played. I like vocal your spoken intro to it. But, I don't think this should qualify as a songfight song since it has no lyrics. It could be about any topic. Maybe if the vocal intro was something about actually finding a lost ark or one going up for auction, then it would go with the song title, but just mentioning the song title name in the intro is not enough for me.

Feldspar - I like your vocals a lot. You sing a lot of different notes while the guitar background music does not change much, so if you were able to have more background music to go with your vocals it might make the song more catchy. Overall a very good song.

The Knights of Griznacht - Great instrumental, but I don't believe instrumentals should be allowed in Songfight. It would have made great background music for a ark related song, like about going on a quest or something with lots of danger.

Paco del Stinko - The vocals and tune sound like Johnny Cash at times, although the song changes a lot so overall it does not sound like a Johnny Cash song. I like the vocals and the ending is good. The vocals mix great with the music and all the changes in the song keep it interesting. Great job.

Stu Jordan - Not a bad song, I just found it boring. The last 1/4 of the song got more interesting musically with the electric guitar playing but the song seemed kind of long.

The Weakest Suit - I think the vocals should have been louder in the mix at times, like at the start of the song. They get a little lost. I like the guitar playing and chord changes a lot, it makes the song catchy. Great song.

Zipline - The music changes a lot to stay interesting, but the vocals don't seem to change much. Your singing sounds always sounds the same. That might be partially due to your voice being a little muffled/faint at times. Overall a good song.
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Re: Ark Reviews

Post by halen99 »

MC Eric B wrote:My Ark Reviews:
But, I don't think this should qualify as a songfight song since it has no lyrics. It could be about any topic.
So a few years back before my first fight I asked everyone on the board and the fight master said that instrumentals was welcome and that one even won once. I believe the song was called Welcome. I understand your point however I put a lot of effort last week into this so when people say this isn't a song, or this shouldn't count it's a bit annoying. That being said I love you all :)
"I just wish all instrumentals had vocals."
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Re: Ark Reviews

Post by Caravan Ray »

halen99 wrote:
MC Eric B wrote:My Ark Reviews:
But, I don't think this should qualify as a songfight song since it has no lyrics. It could be about any topic.
So a few years back before my first fight I asked everyone on the board and the fight master said that instrumentals was welcome and that one even won once. I believe the song was called Welcome. I understand your point however I put a lot of effort last week into this so when people say this isn't a song, or this shouldn't count it's a bit annoying. That being said I love you all :)
That yes/no instrumental debate has happened on and off over the years. The key I think is that the song has to reflect the title - that is hard to do without words. Jim of Seattle's Welcome To.... was a special case. He actually pulled it off. If the title was "Baby Elephant Walk" and Henri Mancini entered, he might win too. I can't think of any other examples that could do it
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Post by MC Eric B »

Eddie - I have only been on Songfight for a little over a year so I don't know the history of the opinions of insturmentals, and I agree there are no rules against instrumentals, but they seem to go against the main purpose of songfight. An instrumental certainly is a song, and may take just as much thought and talent and effort as creating a song with vocals, but to me the point of Songfight is to write a song in a week based upon a certain title. While you may feel your instrumental is somehow related to "Ark of Philadelphia", I doubt anybody else feels that way after hearing it. It may sound "arkish" to you, and maybe you may have an ark theme in your head for the song, but to the general public the song could be about flowers or suicide or any topic.

If the title were "fight" I guess you could write a fighting type instrumental that people would think goes with the title, but 99% of the time I don't think the Songfight titles are like this. Also, going back to the one week issue, writing the lyrics and singing them and mixing that with the music takes a lot of extra time for most people, giving them less time to spend on creating the music, due to the time limit built into each songfight. So, I am not sure it is fair to judge instrumentals, which don't have any of that, against the songs with vocals.

When I hear an instrumental though, to me it sounds like a song that is half finished (no lyrics and vocals) so that is why it is hard for me to review it. Almost all instrumental submissions to Songfight that I have heard sound pretty good. Somebody like me who has a hard time playing music wouldn't submit an instrumental because it would totally suck, so the instrumentalists are usually very talented. But, I personally just don't want to hear instrumentals, I want to hear "real" songs.

That is all just my opinion though. Songfight is also about experimenting and free expression, so unless the rules change to prohibit instrumentals then people should feel free to submit them. Your song at least had a very good vocal intro, I just was disappointed though that the great build up did not lead to a song about an ark. Just saying the song was about an ark ahjead of time was not enough to make me really feel it was about an ark.

- Eric
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Post by Jerry »

Ark reviews from a rookie for what that's worth:
MCEricB: I like the sound of the song. My initial complaint is that it's a bit same-y chord-wise. You could have modulated, gone up a 4th or a major 3rd. There are lots of alternatives to the standard I-IV-V, and I'm always searching for something unorthodox. I guess staying on the same chord is unorthodox, too. Nothing earth-shaking in the lyric department, but you've still got the likes of Bryan Adams beat by a mile.
Caravan Ray: To start, I'd say the vocals are a shade too reverby. You would have won points if you had posted a pic of the ebony angel in only two white gloves. Cod-exotica always makes me a little uncomfortable (remember Elton John's 'Jamaica Jerk-Off'?) but this is pretty well done, with a good catchy chorus.
The Weakest Suit: Footsteps and glass. I like that. Alot. I'm gonna steal that. Kidding, kidding! Sweet tune. Dynamics would have elevated this song a great deal, and made the return to each verse a bit more poignant. Not sure if your recording setup allows additional tracks, but even doubling the acoustic (with different chord inversions) in the choruses could have given it more power.
Binary Red: I'm a sucker for wierd sounds, so the intro got my attention. The beat is a trifle stiff. Aaaaand it's an instrumental. Hard for me to judge. A lot of the instrumentals I think are great have a melody that strongly suggests a vocal line, like The Ventures' version of Walk Don't Run. Or they have a sonic presence that is affecting and compelling. This doesn't have either for me. And there's the whole Ark-specific thing that's lacking. This is probably one of the wordier dissings you'll get.
Feldspar: Good confident singing for the most part. The 'B' section sounds a bit unresolved, like you weren't sure where you were going. The melody is bright and catchy. You could gather a gaggle of chicks on a beach with this tune. But I'm not a chick. I would sit in the fire's shadows secretly hating you for your success with the ladies.
Zipline: I like the fat Pumpkins-y guitar riff in the verses. The guitar does interesting stuff throughout, great dynamics. The vocal line needs to be a bit firmer to really believe it. Maybe if you doubled the vocal melody in parts with another instrument (like a dry, dull, clean guitar or keyb'd) it would help. Because that guitar really kills, man. I love it.
Paco del Stinko: Good sounding drums can really drive a song and this proves it. The spelling idea for the chorus is a bit goofy. But it goes with the novelty feel of the song. Props to your drummer.
The Knights of Griznacht: With that many letters in your band name, you'd think you coulda coughed up some lyrics. While I like the heavy ba-ba-ba-Bah riff, there's not much content to judge. Playing-wise, it's a bit sloppy. To come across as truly ominous, I think you should have been tight as hell.
Stu Jordan: How about some percussion? Because I totally dig the writing in this song. The melancholy sound is very Ben Watt/ Everything But The Girl. Deft octaves on the acoustic. The phuzzphreakout was a bit off-putting but, again, drums (canned or otherwise), even if just in the fuzz part, would have brought this across a lot better. Unique and cool.
A Pathetic Wannabe: That drum pattern's not doing you any favours, my freind. Tasteful, if at times sketchy, guitar playing make this listenable, but nothing is shining out here for me. Throwing a curve into that well-worn chord progression would have been welcome.
Eddie Lance: I give you props for your concept and, of course, the beautiful melody and keyboard chops. You go from the tentative 'original recording' to the fuller 'addition' nicely. Very effective. I guess people are gonna fault you for the iffy connection to the song title. The connection may be weak, but I'm glad you included this song in the fight.
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Post by Jerry »

And I posted the same thing twice. Oops. Feel free to read them all again!
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Post by Jerry »

WTF? Three times? How? Well, that's one way to rack up more posts to my name.
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Post by Rone Rivendale »

I don't think Jerry is gonna win Rookie of the Year for 2008. :P
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Post by Paco Del Stinko »

A Pathetic Wannabee - It sounds like it was done in a couple of takes, tops, but perhaps that's what helps keep it real. I like the wobbley charm of this and the lyrics are enjoyable as well. Yes, the chord progression is not new, but still works with the old happy/sad feel. Scruffy all around song that would probably be worse off if you gave it a bath and sent it to a tailor.

Binary Red - This is almost a good foundation for something, but is nowhere near sounding finished, to me. The synthy stuff is fair enough sounding, but even a robot voice or raped kazoo would help. It doesn't go anywhere, and where it sits gets boring fast.

Caravan Ray - The busy rhythm settles in quickly and this becomes all casual cool. The lyrics are good all through and the melodies decent, the chorus catchy and likely to be sung by drunken stumblebums on their way home after the party. The little "brrrra-haaa!" section is tops but the song builds nicely and captures a good mood. Probably the most complete song of the fight. Good stuff!

Eddie Lance - I like the mood of this even if I think of those old Jack Handy bits on SNL at times. I won't jump on the "it's not a song" pigpile, but it would be nice to hear some singing, whether hammy opera or cooing vixen, it would probably work well.

Feldspar - This is sunny and almost Saturday morning cartoon theme at times, but hard to not enjoy. I don't know why one might try to not enjoy a song, but, uh, yeah. Nice playing and singing all around, I really enjoyed the barely hanging on at times lead guitar solo. I think I may have caught a whiff of Neil Diamond there, and that's a good thing to me, if nobody else.

The Knights of Griznacht - Fear not, I shan't reveal the identity of the Knights, but feel sure that I know who they are. This has moments of monster movie theme goodness, but not throughout the entire epic which gets a bit sloggy. Maybe an angry and demented trumpet could've announced Gojiras arrival in place of absent vocals. Whittle it down and put it out to bake in the sun. Plenty of sun down there.

MC Eric B - I like the start of this, and then you fight against the song to establish your familiar rhythmic patterns. It finally catches on a little ways in and gets comfy with itself, but doesn't open up again until later on when you try a different vocal approach with the 'give me something to believe' lines. Your songs sound like you and that's good, but dont' be afraid to fail while trying new things.

Paco del Stinko - It's a mouse and the Rocky Balboa statue drifting off together in the Liberty Bell and not much more. I like the lead guitar sound, it makes me think of Beverly Hillbillys for some reason. With that guitar, I mic'd both speakers of a 2x12 cab and panned them pretty hard left and right.

Stu Jordan - While the progressions and melodies are excellent, it's the feel that works best here. The guitar playing is enthusiastic and energetic and your singing/voice are very pleasant to the ears. But I think that some of this songs enthusiasm starts to get in its own way at times, best exampled by the electric hammer-on thing. I think that it leads to the song losing its momentum and overall balance, but the first half of the song is wonderful.

The Weakest Suit - This sounds like a cut that would be deeper in an album somewhere, but I like the waving fields of grain feel to it. The ending is a nice idea, if a bit off. It's really about the mood captured here as the song doesn't flower into some grand la-di-da about whatever. A bass coming in after the pause at 1:20ish would've been nice. It's nice that you're patient with it and let it breathe on its own instead of forcing it this way and that.

Zipline - Way cool intro and vibe even if the drums hold back getting going a bit, I think. The music makes me think of the sun coming out after it rains and you know it's just going to be beautiful out in a few moments. Dawning, I suppose. It swells nicely around 3 minutes in, again with the sun coming out. I think you guys missed something with the chord changes you did once around 4 minutes in; that might've made a hooky type direction to take it in, but then maybe the trippy ending might not have made it. I like this bettter after first listen and dig it muchly.

I don't think that this fight is as strong as the other one is this week, but I expect to land in the top 10. Early polls have Caravan Ray in the lead.
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Post by Stu »

Eddie Lance – The progression here is really great, I just wish that it did have some tune. Maybe you’ll add that sometime soon and it will feel really complete. It’s good, just not enough for me to give it the vote I think. The story is a great idea though.

MC Eric B – This sounds like one of the preset drum beats on my keyboard. There isn’t quite enough of a tune to make me stay interested. Maybe if there were some background vocals or something like that it might make it a bit more interesting.

The Knights of Griznacht – I am really attracted to that opening synth line that continues through the piece. It’s somewhat abstract, like the rest of the tune, but I’m pretty attracted to that sort of stuff. The lead guitar seems like it should be a main melody of some sort, but it just sounds like an extended solo. This does make me wanna rock though, so mission accomplished. I also like the fact that it’s all live instruments. The longer it goes on, the more it wanders, which is a shame.

Paco del Stinko – The intro sounded like you were gonna go for a country tune, but the verse wasn’t in that same style. I like the musicality of it all, everything is played well. The vocal in the verse is too low and forced, but I really like the ending.

Feldspar – Great vocals. The sparse arrangement is refreshing also. The tune is pleasant and it is something I would listen to in a laid back mood. Good one!

A Pathetic Wannabee – I’m a fan of the guitar tone you’ve got going on here. The tune decent and the lyrics are pretty good too, so there isn’t really much that I don’t enjoy about the song. It has a ton of little elements that I enjoy pieced together and that makes me enjoy it.

The Weakest Suit – I really like the feel of this, it’s perfectly melancholy and it makes me imagine I’m on a journey. I wish that when you say “And the way” when the chord changes that it would’ve extended into a contrasting section because I think it would’ve helped. I’m trying to pin down what this reminds me of, but whatever it is I do like it quite a bit.

Binary Red – The scratching is cool, but the extreme use of synthesized instruments really bugs me. Also how it keeps pausing like the beat is lost. This can’t happen if you’re gonna make something that sounds like it should be a dance track.

Zipline – The drums got better as the track went on and I began to like it more as it went on as well. I love the style here, this is my favorite so far in the fight, and only one left so you’re looking good! It’s raw, but I love the bass and the clean lead guitar line. Love that back and forth between loud distorted rocking and softer cleaner stuff. Very nice!

Caravan Ray – The latin vibe is nice and refreshing, and I always love to hear horns whenever possible. Shouting PA was a really nice touch. If I hadn’t just heard the Zipline track this might’ve won for me, but I think it comes in second though.

My vote goes to Zipline because I wasn’t really expecting anything like that to come my way during this fight and it turns out it’s just what I wanted to hear.

Runners up:
1. Caravan Ray
2. The Weakest Suit
3. Feldspar
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Post by glennny »

The Prisoner is mad at me for good reason. Our Zipline submission isn't exactly Zipline. The cast is Martyr, Glennny, and Woody on drums, not the Prisoner.

Please for better or worse don't let the drumming influence your opinion of the Prisoner's drumming.

Much thanks to my brother Woody for filling in last minute to carry us through the end of the FAWM album (as Zinkline).

Nice fight people, I'm particularly digging the Stu song although i wish it had full band drums and bass and production, but those are some great riffs and melodies!

Caravan Ray is also fantastic!

I'll do proper reviews later!

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Post by Hoblit »

Thanks to anyone who participated. One day I'll get back into this...I suck.

Apathetic: This has an oldskool SF sound to it. Not necessarily in a good way but I must admit in a nastalgic way.

Caravan Ray: I must threaten you with a vote. You are an island in an ocean of doubt. (literally & figuratively) I stole than line from Roger Waters.

Eddie Lance: a cross between modern Indie film, Woodie Alan, and Songfight. If this is a true story in ANY WAY (obviously there is no way that it was ark of Philadelphia or that YOU actually came across the tape... but the IDEA of an artist finishing a song he picked up as a discard from tape is pretty cool) I'll have to give you +2 automatically. +1 for the idea if it was just your own fiction. You are the lone palm tree on Caravan Ray's Island. (you left an unfinished song, well, unfinished)

feldspar: I hear talent if I don't think this song is all that great.

Paco: I like your songs even when they're bad. Second place.

stuj: This song has a ton of potential. I'm not sure why I don't dig it over-all. There is a good song here. Go back and re-record it. There's a good chance that it'll blow everything else this week away. Seriously. I HEAR the potential but its simply not in the execution.

Weakest Suite: You sound like John Lennon or Syd Barret outtake. Thats not exactly a compliment but its not exactly a dis either. Keep at it.

zipline: ALMOST.

Everybody I mentioned is an honorable mention in my book. I'm a little drunk and I've listened to these fights many times this week to the dismay of my co-workers and so I'm being a jerk<strike> on purpose</strike> by accident.
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Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Hoblit wrote:I like your songs even when they're bad
That must be quite often, then. Well, alright! :)
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Post by glennny »

Ark of Philadelphia

Binary Red- Serious timing issues. Yikes. How can you have such issues with a drum machine. Your loops aren’t clean I suppose. The chords are nice enough. The stuttering drums are really distracting. It’s too redundant and off for me to enjoy, sorry.

Caravan Ray- Bad Ass!!! C-Ray you have a special place in my heart for the gift of music entry. Thanks again by the way! Back to Ark of P. This is you’re A game. This is great. You keep me guessing on what to expect from you. I suppose I can count on great singing and seriously cool rhythms. This is the entry to beat to be sure. This enters my iPod collection. Great Job!!!

Eddie Lance- I hate stories. Even my all time favorite musician of all time Frank Zappa has stories at the beginning of some of his tracks which I promptly skip if I have the ability. Excellent piano as to be expected from you. Nice and melancholy! I’d love to hear you in a band. Song Fight definitely needs more piano in the mix. I really enjoy this listen, once the story is over. One of these days when I have more serious time to collab, I’d love to hit you up for some piano.

Feldspar- Nice hook. Nice vocals. Sloppy lead guitar. Think I’d like it better without the electric guitar. Kind of an obvious song structure. Pleasant enough.

The Knights of Griznacht- I like the dark angularity of this. I think the execution is really sloppy, on the guitarist part anyway. The drums are tight. Listen to King Crimson much? Me too. There’s some awesomeness to this, I like when the band deliberately slows down. There’s some beautiful dissonance here too. I like the guitar tone I just wish the guitar line was surer of itself. The composition is very good especially for an instrumental. This reminds me of some of the Thrak era live improvisations from KC. Cool track, I look forward to more!

MC Eric B- I like that Kermit believes in you so much. I wish the lyrics weren’t straight. With some Flight of the Conchords wit this could be really funny. OK it’s pretty funny like it is.

Paco Del Stinko- My personal favorite of the fight. Dude, you are hilarious! All the instruments sound fantastic! Your over the top silliness vocals really work on this hoe down. You’re a genius! I keep all of your songs, and listen to them apparently more than you do, judging by the last time we hung out. This is another gem for the collection.

A Pathetic Wannabee- Wow that’s hissy! This reminds me of some New York era Lou Reed solo stuff. That uninteresting drum machine is sure loud in the mix. This is all about the lyrics. The lyrics don’t grab me at all. I’m not offended by them, but I am bored. Sloppy guitar.

Stu Jordon- This is a great example of a great song trapped in a poor production. Very hissy. Nice chords, nice vocals! Pretty good playing! I’m dying for some drums! The atmospheric electric works very well. I like the construction of the song a lot, however I kind of hate the solo section, it gets loud and the riff and solo seems like a cop out to me. So much great stuff leading up to it, too bad it couldn’t send it home well. Over all very cool, looking forward to more from you!

The Weakest Suit- Nice vocals, even with the cracks. Tambourine will be annoying if it’s not super tight. This is way too loose. A metronome would’ve served this song a lot. The chords are pretty boring. Not an offensive song, but pretty forgettable.

Zipline- My project this week. This is actually me and my brother and Martyr. This is from our Zinkline FAWM album. Niveous wrote the lyrics. This is our song writing method at its best. We has 15 minutes for each song. Niveous had given us the lyrics. We threw out riffs against each other then went for it with the tape rolling. Then I edited it down to the 5 minute version you get now. I like this track more than the rest of the band does. It’s certainly got its performance flaws, but I do love the way the “flood” emerges and swells. I don’t get to play with my brother as often as I used to, it was really sweet to do such.

I like Caravan Ray, Paco Del Stinko, Stu Jordan, and I’m fond of our entry too.
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Post by The Weakest Suit »

Jerry wrote:The Weakest Suit: Footsteps and glass. I like that. Alot. I'm gonna steal that. Kidding, kidding!
feel free to use it. my lyric is "there are footsteps en masse".
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Post by Stu »

glennny wrote: Stu Jordon- This is a great example of a great song trapped in a poor production. Very hissy. Nice chords, nice vocals! Pretty good playing! I’m dying for some drums! The atmospheric electric works very well. I like the construction of the song a lot, however I kind of hate the solo section, it gets loud and the riff and solo seems like a cop out to me. So much great stuff leading up to it, too bad it couldn’t send it home well. Over all very cool, looking forward to more from you!
I'm glad you like the song in the end. All I have to work with for recording is my computer mic so I wouldn't expect the production quality to get a lot better unless I find some sound proof portion of my room. I felt like the solo section was necessary to break the song up and give it a kind of bridge without actually giving it a bridge (if that makes sense). Anyways, thanks for the feedback! I do need better recording equipment.
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Post by fretnoize »

Feldspar
Nice recording. Solid sing. Bridge was a little weird... I think it could have been enhanced with a little percussion, not drums though. I think the song was too happy for me.

Stu Jordan
I guess the song is pretty good..... oh guitar solo..... um, pretty good for what it is... great performance, recording quality could be improved. Honestly I'm just not a fan of this kind of music, but I'm sure it holds up pretty well. Maybe re-think that guitar solo.

Zipline
Sorry Zipline, I think it goes on too long, and I'm not a fan of the riffs... vocals seemed kind of harsh/off... maybe I'm in a negative mood, but I didn't like this one either. Just not a fan of this kind of music.

A Pathetic Wannabee
Cool melody on the lead guitar. Nicely worked arrangement. Recording isn't that great, but that's okay. So far my favorite.

The Weakest Suit
I like your concept here, although i would have liked one or two more instruments in the mix... I think that might help break it up from feeling a little too long.

MC Eric B
I think this is an improvement over your last one, vocally I mean. I'm trying to figure out where you're coming from production wise though. Please believe me when I don't mean this in a mean spirited way, but your backing track at times sounds like the demo button on some keyboard in the early 90s. Ugh that does sound mean, I'm sorry... but the reason why I say it is because I thought your last track had some pretty interesting production choices, while this time it kinda sounds like filler, and I think there could be a little more to this. What's your usual recording/production process? Ok, let's get back to the vocals. What I like about it is your voice seems to fit in better here. I'm going to listen to some of your other stuff, I'm curious what kinds of styles fit with your voice. I like the doubling you do as well. In your half empty half full song, i think you used a chorus/doubler effect or something during one part, but an actualy 2nd take rather than an effect works for you. What do you use for a mic and the rest of your gear for that matter? Just wondering what other suggestions I can make.

The Knights of Griznacht
Kind of a random build up at the beginning here... It seems like it's going somewhere... ah here we go... or not... instrumental I guess... Honestly, it kind of grew on me. good use of dynamics. A bit long though

Caravan Ray
okay wow... I didn't know you were excellent. I don't know if you normally write songs in this genre, but I thought you pretty much nailed it from the writing and production sides.

Eddie Lance
Cool piano piece... the only thing that bugs me is i thought you were telling a true story and I was thinking, hey that's cool... and then it turned out you were LYING to me... there's no way that happened coincidently... and then you played this sad piano piece which was the ironic score to my trust in you crumbling away. Picture, if you will, the piano barely audible underneath the sobbing... "Why eddie?! Why?! Why would you lie to me.... I BELIEVED you!!!!"

In all seriousness though, it's a nice composition, good job.

Paco del Stinko
Funny song. Well done.

Binary Red
sounds like you came up with an interesting synth line, but failed for take it anywhere beyond that. Is that high synth part microtonal?

Caravan Ray gets my vote!
-Fretnoize
--------------------------------
Song Fight band name: Bax
Jerry
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
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Post by Jerry »

The Weakest Suit wrote:
Jerry wrote:The Weakest Suit: Footsteps and glass. I like that. Alot. I'm gonna steal that. Kidding, kidding!
feel free to use it. my lyric is "there are footsteps en masse".
Sorry for the misinterpretation. I like that, too.
MC Eric B
Push Comes to Shove
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Post by MC Eric B »

Yes, many of my songs are use beats from my Casio keyboard. But, the keyboard does not have premade songs, just beats, so it still takes some work and creativity to make a song out of them. I basically combine different parts of different beats to make a song. I also sometimes add additional instruments from my hip-hop beat maker machine. I did this on the Ark of Philadelphia song, to make the bridge and chorus stand out more.

Because I don't actually play any instruments (other than changing chords sometimes or adding drums), it makes my music somewhat simplistic since I can't always make the song sound like what I hear in my head for it.

For equipment, I use a $70 condenser mic and pro tools. I also have mbox2, but I only bought that because without it my pc sometimes caused a delay in the timing of the songs. Mbox bypasses my sound card so delay is not an issue anymore. I don't really use any of the features on the fancy protools software that came with mbox, other than doing things like dealys and doubling of vocals.

- Eric
fretnoize wrote:MC Eric B
I think this is an improvement over your last one, vocally I mean. I'm trying to figure out where you're coming from production wise though. Please believe me when I don't mean this in a mean spirited way, but your backing track at times sounds like the demo button on some keyboard in the early 90s. Ugh that does sound mean, I'm sorry... but the reason why I say it is because I thought your last track had some pretty interesting production choices, while this time it kinda sounds like filler, and I think there could be a little more to this. What's your usual recording/production process? Ok, let's get back to the vocals. What I like about it is your voice seems to fit in better here. I'm going to listen to some of your other stuff, I'm curious what kinds of styles fit with your voice. I like the doubling you do as well. In your half empty half full song, i think you used a chorus/doubler effect or something during one part, but an actualy 2nd take rather than an effect works for you. What do you use for a mic and the rest of your gear for that matter? Just wondering what other suggestions I can make.
User avatar
Reist
Hot for Teacher
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Post by Reist »

MC Eric B wrote:Because I don't actually play any instruments (other than changing chords sometimes or adding drums), it makes my music somewhat simplistic since I can't always make the song sound like what I hear in my head for it.

For equipment, I use a $70 condenser mic and pro tools.
There's going to be a day when you'll want to stop making excuses for simplistic music. Really man, you should pick up a guitar and an amp, grab a book of chords and work at it. The only way you can make the music sound exactly how you want (without hours of tweaking to give something dynamics and soul) it by having the instrument in hand and playing what you want. You have the equipment to record a guitar - you really should invest in some sort of instrument (especially considering how much music you write)

And no, I'm not trying to spark another musician vs songwriter debate. My personal thoughts are that anyone can play an instrument, and if that person is a songwriter, good things happen.

*EDIT*wait a second - you play keyboard! Hmmm. Why do you say you don't play an instrument when you play keyboard?
MC Eric B
Push Comes to Shove
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Post by MC Eric B »

I don't really know how to play the keyboard, I just change chords sometimes to give the song some variety.

Also, sometimes I don't use the Casio at all and just use the beat machine, but those songs sound a lot more amateur.

Yes, if I learned to play guitar or keyboard it would make things much better for me.

- Eric
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